FIA World Rally Championship

Rovanperä Still Holding on to the Lead with Tänak Closing in

2 Mins read
Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Kalle Rovanperä is still leading the 2022 Croatia Rally as the day two have now come to an end after the six stages, as two stages were cancelled. But the young Finn didn’t have so much luck today compared to yesterday as the rainy forecast made it challenging.

Rovanperä did some costly misstakes in the morning loop and also caught a puncture which costed a lot of time so the second place Hyundai Motorsport driver Ott Tänak could close in on the gap. Rovanperä lead the rally with over one minute yesterday but it has now shrink down to just under twenty seconds.

The Finn only managed to win one stage on the afternoon which was the penultimate stage of today, meanwhile the fellow Finnish teammate Esapekka Lappi, who was forced to retire yesterday, bouned back and won three stages.

The third Toyota Gazoo Racing driver of Elfyn Evans had a better day today and improved his pace on the morning loop and currently sitting fifth, he was ‘fastest’ on the opening stage but unfortunately that one got cancelled quite early when Hyundai’s Oliver Solberg went off the road and the car’s exhaust managed to caught fire on the rear of the i20 N Rally1 car, both of the crew escaped unharmed.

Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville managed to have a relatively nice day and won a stage in the morning loop, however, he was fined €1,900 for speeding 156kph in an 80kph zone yesterday and handed a one minute time-penalty for ‘multiple severe speeding infringements’, he is currently sitting fourth as he lost out a podium place due to the penalty.

The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver Craig Breen snatched the third place from Neuville early on today, the Irishman is still holding on to it with a 4.9 margin over the Belgian which is closing in fast behind.

M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith had to retire yesterday on the penultimate stage as he caught a puncture and had no spare tire with him but had a better day today, also a better day for the M-Sport debutant Pierre-Louis Loubet who same as Greensmith had to retire yesterday due to punctures, sitting in seventh and in eight respectively.

Toyota’s development driver Takamoto Katsuta is currently in sixth and has over a three minute margin up to teammate Evans as he caught up with another puncture on the opening stage of the afternoon loop.

Credit: Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

In the support category WRC2 it is still the Frenchman Yohan Rossel who is leading with 35.1 seconds over Nikolay Gryazin, meanwhile Kajetan Kajetanowicz is 50.9 seconds behind in third.

In the WRC3 / Junior WRC class the Finn Sami Pajari have snatched the lead from Robert Virves on the second stage of the morning loop, Jon Armstrong had a fuel leak before the third stage and lost time due to the repairs.

The Croatia Rally’s final day starts tomorrow morning with the Trakošćan – Vrbno 1 stage and ends with the tricky Wolf Power Stage of Zagorska Sela – Kumrovec 2 in the afternoon where the rally winner will be crowned.

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